Language and tone in The Garden

Fruit and flowers

Once again, the language is pastoral and natural. It is particularly rich and luxurious: this is a garden where the fruit is perpetually ripe and the flowers in full bloom. Stanza five has a list of the most succulent fruit. ‘Ripe Apples' has associations with the Fall of Humankind, since traditionally the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden was an apple, though it is not actually named in the Bible (Genesis 3:2; Genesis 3:6). Here, any references to the Fall are playfully negated, since he only falls ‘on Grass' – there is no harm done. See Fruit, pruning.

A meditative tone

The tone is meditative, but in the sensuous and quite passionate way we find in Keats' Ode to a Nightingale. For a poet talking of withdrawing from the world, the attractiveness of the world of the garden is very fully described. This is what the first Garden of Eden must have been like: a perfect creation, where bad weather and decay are kept out. Even when the fruit falls, it doesn't seem to decay or attract wasps!

Investigating The Garden
  • Collect words and phrases from The Garden that suggest richness and luxury
  • How does Marvell make his world seem both natural and yet ordered and comfortable?
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